These fudgy White Christmas Rum Balls have a sweet milky flavour with bursts of tartness from dried cranberries and echoes of coconut and boozy rum.
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Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Place the biscuits in a food processor and process until finely crushed. Place in a large bowl with the condensed milk, coconut, cranberries and rum or orange juice and stir to combine. Roll 1-tbs portions of the mixture into balls and place on one of the lined trays.
Melt the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir with a metal spoon for 5 mins or until chocolate melts.
Working one at a time, use a fork to dip a rum ball into melted chocolate to evenly coat, allowing excess to drip off. Place on the remaining lined tray and sprinkle with a little of the extra coconut. Continue with remaining rum balls, chocolate and coconut. Place in the fridge for 30 mins or until set. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
Place the melted chocolate in a small cup or mug. This will make it easier to immerse the rum balls for dipping.
COOK. STORE. SAVE.
Clever storage: Chocolate rum balls with condensed milk can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. To freeze, transfer the balls to an airtight container and place in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Ring in the Christmas season by making white chocolate rum balls that resemble snowballs. With a texture reminiscent of fudgy cake pops and tart cranberries to balance the sweetness, these white Christmas balls taste sweet and milky with a hint of boozy rum flavour and notes of coconut throughout.
Thank the Danish for inventing rum balls in the 1800s! Not wanting any cakes to go to waste, Danish bakers moulded the leftover cakes into these decadent treats. Today, rum balls often make an appearance over the festive season, often exchanged as a gift or gracing extravagant dessert tables. Since the 1950s, these truffle-like bites have been a favourite treat to make and share during the holiday season.
This Christmas balls recipe uses coconut-flavoured white rum, which is made from sugar-cane based alcohol, sweetener and the essence from coconut meat or juice. White rum is a mild, entry-level spirit with a sweet and faintly bitter profile featuring traces of butter and vanilla. Malibu and Bacardi are popular brands, but there’s plenty of variety out there. Use regular white rum if you don’t want that additional coconut flavour, or choose a different flavoured variety – tropical rums would work well in these rum balls.
For a slightly stronger taste, choose gold or dark rum. Gold rum is also called amber rum. It is aged in a barrel for a few years to develop a more full-bodied flavour and deeper colour. Caramel is often added to it. Dark rum is aged for an even longer period until the rum takes on a dark brown hue. Its flavour is bolder than gold rum, and may contain burnt sugar or molasses. Some gold and dark rums are laced with spices and these are called spiced rum. You can use spiced rum if you wish to add more warmth to this Christmas rum ball recipe. The darkness of the rum doesn’t necessarily mean it has more alcohol, just a fuller flavour. Bear in mind that your Christmas balls may not have a creamy white colour inside if you use gold or dark rum, but they’ll still be snowy white on the outside thanks to the white chocolate coating.
For a non-alcoholic version, replace the rum with 2 tablespoons of orange juice, almond milk or coconut milk. You may need to dust in a bit more of the finely crushed biscuits if the batter looks too wet.
When you make a rum ball recipe with condensed milk, it’s important the batter is the right consistency. Pour the batter into an airtight container or sealed with plastic wrap in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. This helps to firm up the texture. Before you commit to a whole batch, shape a test ball after mixing your wet and dry ingredients together.
When you’re forming the ball with your hands, the batter should be slightly sticky and hold its shape easily. It shouldn’t ‘melt’ when you leave the ball on the tray. If the batter looks too wet and runny, add a bit more arrowroot biscuits. If it seems dry, add a splash of rum, orange juice, almond milk or oat milk.
Yes, absolutely! Crush some pistachio, peanuts or pecans into shards (not into a powder or nut meal). You can do this in a food processor or place the nuts in a sealable bag and crush with a rolling pin. Toast the nuts beforehand for a more buttery aroma.
If the tartness of cranberries isn’t your thing, swap them for the same amount of dried apricots or glacé cherries. Consider soaking chopped up dried mixed fruit, raisins or sultanas in some rum overnight before adding it to your batter, if you want the balls to pack more of a boozy punch.
To put a peppermint spin on this recipe for Christmas rum balls, reduce the rum by 1/2 teaspoon and add 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract. Alternatively, swap out the cranberries for the same amount of a blitzed up peppermint crisp bar, or coat the balls with crushed peppermint lollies or candy canes.
For a fresh orange aroma, mix in the zest of an orange. To introduce a spicy ginger taste, replace the arrowroot biscuits with ginger biscuits. You can also add a teaspoon of cocoa or matcha powder to make rum balls of these flavours.
If you’re not a big fan of rum or don’t have any on hand, you can use bourbon, whiskey, amaretto, coffee-flavoured liqueur or Baileys.
These white chocolate cranberry rum balls are a go-to when you want to make a no-bake sweet treat that tastes great when made ahead of time or on the day. If you make them a few days ahead of a Christmas gathering, the flavours will develop slightly as the liquid ingredients are absorbed into the cake crumbs. If you’re making and serving them on the same day, your rum balls will still taste delicious and have a distinctive kick of rum flavour.
For a Christmas dessert table, place the rum balls on a star shaped platter or piled onto several gold chalices dotted throughout the table. Decorate the platter or chalices with a holly leaf or two, sprigs of rosemary or some petite edible red flowers. Garnish each ball with some flecks of gold leaf, edible gold glitter, green matcha powder, or green and red sprinkles. If you’re making non-alcoholic balls for kids, use some broken up pretzels to make reindeer ears for each ball.
For a homemade party favour or gift, put the balls in little glass jars or cellophane bags. Tie the packaging with a ribbon. You can also put the balls in small cupcake liners and place them in a paper or tin box. For an extra special touch, write a small card for the recipient that includes some of your serving suggestions. Try serving coconut and white chocolate rum balls with a plate of fresh fruit or salted nuts to help balance the rich taste.